Frank says that 10 years ago, he was a respected high school basketball coach — until a sex scandal involving a student landed him behind bars and on the sex offender registry. Frank maintains his innocence, but says he accepted a plea bargain and served 25 months in prison for second-degree sexual assault, second-degree threatening and interfering with an officer. Since his release in 2006, Frank says he’s worked hard to move on with his life — including getting married and starting a family — but he says his past keeps coming back to haunt him. Learn why Frank is now on the run. Is he the victim of a broken system — or is he just making bad decisions? And, CNN legal analyst and anchor for ABC News
Sunny Hostin weighs in.
On the Run
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Learn why Frank accepted a plea bargain 10 years ago, and why he landed in hot water again last year.
What made Frank decide to become a fugitive? “The first words out of my mouth were, ‘Not this time.’”
Dr. Phil explains that Frank accepted a plea bargain using the Alford Doctrine. Under the Alford Doctrine, a criminal defendant who believes there is sufficient evidence against him for a guilty finding by a judge or jury can plead guilty while still maintaining his innocence and denying wrongdoing.
Frank says he’s been on the run for about a month. He tells Dr. Phil, “I was labeled 10 years ago, and I’ve never been able to overcome that label.” He says he wishes people took the time to get to know him, instead of just Googling his name and learning he’s a registered sex offender and not knowing how that label came to be.
Frank admits there was “a line crossed” with the young woman 10 years ago and says he’s not justifying it, but he stands by his claim that it wasn’t a sexual relationship.
“Did you get too close to this girl?”
Dr. Phil drills down to learn how Frank landed in prison a second time. Was he violating probation and coaching kids?
Donna says Frank’s probation officer lied about not giving him permission to help his stepson’s team. “So, where is his protection from probation?” Donna asks Dr. Phil.
“His protection is you avoid even the appearance of impropriety. That is his protection,” he says.
Dr. Phil tells Frank that although he believes that he’s standing up for himself, he’s not — he’s running. “You’ve got to work the problem. Running is not working the problem,” he says. “If I were a prosecutor, I would bury you,” he says. “You are blatantly and willfully violating a clearly-stated probation order.”
Is He Telling the Truth?
Frank claimed that he took a polygraph test that proved he didn’t have a sexual relationship with the high school student. After some digging, Dr. Phil gets his hands on the test results.
Dr. Phil reads the results of the polygraph: They indicate non-deception. “It indicates that you are telling the truth that you did not have those two sexual contacts with this person,” he says.
What are Frank’s Options?
Sunny Hostin, CNN legal analyst and anchor for ABC News, joins the show via Polycom. What does she think Frank should do?
“He made a seriously bad decision when he ran, but is there any chance of getting the milk back in the cow here?” Dr. Phil asks Sunny.
“Absolutely. Prosecutors are human beings too, and they’re oftentimes very reasonable,” she says. “But I’ve got to tell you, the deck is certainly stacked because of his actions, because he ran.”
Sunny makes Frank a promise. Will he turn himself in?
“She is telling you that you need to stop this. It is self-destructive and crazy. You need to work the problem, and I agree with her 100 percent,” Dr. Phil tells Frank. “You owe it to your wife. You owe it to your family. You owe it to yourself. You need to go face this and work the problem, and she’s saying she will help you, as will I.”